For alternative meanings, see Zaragoza (disambiguation).
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Zaragoza's location in Spain

Zaragoza (frequently Saragossa in English; Latin Caesaraugusta) is the capital city of the autonomous region and former kingdom of Aragn in Spain, and is located on the river Ebro, and its tributaries the Huerva and Gllego, near the centre of the region, in a great valley with a variety of landscapes, ranging from desert (los Monegros) to thick forest, meadows and mountains.

According to data from Zaragoza council from 1 January 2004, the population of the city of Zaragoza was 641,581. The population of the metropolitan area was estimated in 2003 at 656,922 inhabitants, ranking as the fifth-largest urban area in Spain. The municipality is home to more than 50% of the Aragon population. The city is 199 metres above sea level, and constitutes a crossroads between Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao, all about 300 kilometres (200 miles) from Zaragoza.

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View from the top of the cathedral of El Pilar

Zaragoza is linked by legends to the beginnings of Christianity in Spain. According to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared miraculously to Saint James the Great in the 1st century, standing on a pillar. This legend is commemorated by a famous Catholic basilica called Nuestra Señora del Pilar ("Our Lady of the Pillar").

The event is celebrated on October 12th which is a major fiesta in Zaragoza. Since it coincided in 1492 with the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, that day is also celebrated as El Da de la Hispanidad (Columbus Day, literally Hispanic Day) by Spanish-speaking people worldwide.

Near the basilica on the banks of the Ebro are located the city hall, the Lonja (old currency exchange), the cathedral or Seo, and the ruins of the Roman city wall.

Near this area is a tapas zone called El Tubo and a nightclub district called El Casco. Other nightclub districts are La Zona and El Royo. There is a clean and popular gay bath house called Nordic nearby.

Some distance from the center of the old city is an expansive Moorish castle/palace called the Aljafería, one of the northernmost important Moorish buildings in Spain. The Aragonese parliament currently sits in the building. The palace was the setting of Verdi's famous opera Il Trovatore.

Zaragoza is linked by Renfe's AVE high speed train service to Madrid and to Lrida in Catalonia.

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View of Zaragoza by Diego Velasquez


Zaragoza was the scene of two famous martyrdoms: those of Saint Dominguito del Val, a choirboy in the basilica, and Pedro de Arbus, an official of the Spanish Inquisition.

Zaragoza was the seat of a Moorish taifa in the Middle Ages.

It suffered combat during the Peninsular War (see Agustina de Aragn).

During the Spanish Civil War it was briefly liberated from Fascism by the Durruti Column, led by Buenaventura Durruti.


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Signpost, using the Castilian and Catalan names

Historically, this site was an Iberian village called Salduie or Salduba, then a new Roman town close to that site, named Caesaraugusta after Emperor Caesar Augustus, later elided into ’Sar Agusta and further renamed Sarakosta or Saraqosta by the Moors. This became Saragoa (the pronounced /ts/) under the Christians, later aragoa, and finally developed into Zaragoza in Castilian and Aragonese, and Saragossa in Catalan, giving the French Saragosse, the Italian Saragozza, and the English and German Saragossa.


Zaragoza has been in the past the home of an important military officer academy and was formerly a United States Air Force base.

See also List of cities in Spain and List of municipalities in Zaragoza province.

Zaragoza (translated as Zaragoza or Saragossa) is the title of a novel by Benito Pérez Galdós.

External links

Template:Commonsbe:Сарагоса ca:Saragossa de:Saragossa es:Zaragoza eo:Zaragozo fr:Saragosse la:Caesarea Augusta nl:Zaragoza ja:サラゴサ pl:Saragossa pt:Saragoa fi:Zaragoza sv:Zaragoza



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